All independent training providers should have an eye on the Education Inspection Framework when planning and evaluating the quality of provision for their learners.

Some training providers are unaware of the potential to review their own provision until an Ofsted inspection is approaching so they miss out on an opportunity to have strengths validated, areas of development highlighted and next steps for improvement identified.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the case for a Bristol-based training provider specialising across a range of disciplines including teaching assistants, school sports coaches or leadership and management.

Its proactive approach to sourcing independent evaluation of its own provision helped to set it up for success, eventually resulting in an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating across all areas in its first full inspection.

As education specialists, B11 Education were engaged to support their client on this journey. B11’s leading team of consultants – comprising experienced Ofsted inspectors, former HMI, DfE Education Advisers and school leaders – provided an independent review of apprenticeship provision and offered external feedback in preparation for a New Provider Monitoring Visit.

This review included interviewing key staff, scrutinising policies and procedures, examining learning resources and reviewing apprentices’ work.

This full evaluation:

  • Highlighted that the provider was meeting all requirements of successful apprenticeship provision,
  • Acknowledged progress that leaders and managers had made to ensure that high-quality training led to positive outcomes for apprentices
  • Recognised the effective safeguarding arrangements in place
  • Identified key areas for development and provided recommendations to secure sustainable improvements

Receiving evaluation of this kind provides enormous reassurance to training providers who would otherwise be unsure of how their provision matches up to expected standards.

An independent review also provides clarity on ways to enhance provision and where to focus attention ahead of future inspections.

Mark Allison, managing director at B11 Education comments: “For a training provider, taking stock of its impact should be a routine exercise in raising standards; one which provides a benchmark for best practice.

“Providers such as our client, who take a proactive approach to assessing their curriculum impact, are better informed and therefore better prepared for an inspection when it comes along. It also provides confidence and gives an ‘insider’ perspective on ways to improve.”

For this provider, a subsequent Ofsted inspection in 2022 resulted in praise by inspectors for offering ‘a meticulously constructed’ curriculum which has been ‘designed carefully and very efficiently to meet the needs of employers and apprentices’.

Leaders were cited as having ‘a clear strategy to ensure the high quality of their apprenticeships’ and that apprentices ‘gain substantial skills and knowledge which will help them in their future careers’.

For our client’s chief executive, the result was resoundingly successful: “This is an unbelievable achievement which provides us with an opportunity to shape education and employment progression for our learners and in turn support employers and the wider community”

If your next Ofsted inspection is approaching or you want to maximise the provision for your learners to evaluate your curriculum impact, or you’re looking to train key leaders in your establishment, contact B11. We will talk to you about how a bespoke review from education professionals will enable you to raise the bar in education delivery.

Expert guidance

Should you need immediate assistance in reviewing your provision, preparing for you NPMV/full inspection, or compiling your QIP, please do not hesitate to contact us to start a conversation.

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